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Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, BTS, Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, Missy Elliott win big at MTV VMAs


Taylor Swift Steals the Show (Photo: Twitter)

Lizzo, Jonas Bros., Normani, Mendes/Cabello Performances Dazzle

Ten years after she was bum-rushed on the VMA stage by KANYE WEST, TAYLOR SWIFT had her moment in the spotlight, earning her second VIDEO OF THE YEAR and VIDEO OF GOOD honors for her anthem to equality, “You Need to Calm Down.”

SWIFT took the stage to sing that and the title song to her just-released chart-topping album, “Lover,” at NEWARK, NJ’s PRUDENTIAL CENTER, where this year’s VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS were held for the first time, with host, comic/author/actor SEBASTIAN MANISCALCO. Dressed in a gold bustier top and tight-fitting purple shorts, SWIFT opened the show amid a backdrop of rainbows, while TV viewers saw an “Equality Act” graphic on the screen, referring to the bill being championed by SWIFT.

SWIFT used the VIDEO OF THE YEAR honor to address the song’s theme. “You voting for this video means that you want a world where we’re all treated equally regardless of who we love, regardless of how we identify.”

ARIANA GRANDE, who topped the list of nominees alongside SWIFT with 10 apiece, earned ARTIST OF THE YEAR honors and SONG OF SUMMER for her collaboration with SOCIAL HOUSE, “boyfriend,” while BILLIE EILISH edged LIZZO for BEST NEW ARTIST and earned PUSH ARTIST OF THE YEAR. LIL NAS X and BILLY RAY CYRUS record-shattering smash, “Old Town Road” earned SONG OF THE YEAR honors, while KOREAN K-Pop sensations BTS won BEST GROUP and BEST K-POP for their collaboration with HALSEY, “Boy with Luv.”.

Following SWIFT to the stage was BEST NEW ARTIST nominee LIZZO, performing her smash, “Good As Hell,” following a snippet of “Truth Hurts.” As she told the crowd, “We deserve to feel good as hell.” Performing before what appeared to be a giant butt, LIZZO proved her “Girl of SUMMER” designation was no lie.

Other winners included CARDI B’s “Money” (BEST HIP-HOP VIDEO), ROSALIA and J BALVIN’s “Con Altura”  (BEST LATIN), presented to them by FRENCH MONTANA, who brought some politics to the occasion. “I am so proud to pronounce this award because as an immigrant, I feel like we are the people that make this country and I feel like I wanna be the voice,” he said. 

More who took home the coveted MOON MAN trophies. JONAS BROTHERS’ “Sucker” (BEST POP), THE CHAINSMOKERS and BEBE REXHA, “Call You Mine” (BEST DANCE), PANIC! AT THE DISCO, “High Hopes” (BEST ROCK) and NORMANI f/6LACK, “Waves” (BEST R&B). For a complete list of winners, go here

THE JONAS BROTHERS performed live from ASBURY PARK, NJ, singing spot-on versions of their hits, “Sucker” and “Only Human.” The GARDEN STATE natives started from inside the famed STONE PONY, then strolled onto the boardwalk to take the stage at the waterfront pier. 

LIL NAS X titillated TAYLOR SWIFT with his black light neon performance of “Panini” before MISSY ELLIOTT was presented with the newly renamed VIDEO VANGUARD AWARD by CARDI B, who called her “the voice that we need.” The hip-hop icon then let loose with a medley including “Get Your Freak On” and “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly),” in her space-age attire. Her honor prompted a standing ovation amid cries of “Missy, Missy!”

ELLIOTT then thanked everyone from her mom to the late singer AALIYAH. “I want to dedicate this award to the dance community all around the world,” she said. “When y’all get on the stage with these artists, y’all are not just props. Y’all are the icing on the cake. Y’all are the beat to the heart.”e with these artists, y’all are not just props. Y’all are the icing on the cake. Y’all are the beat to the heart.”

SHAWN MENDES and CAMILA CABELLO  performed a steamy, sensually charged take on their current smash, “Senorita” ending in what appeared a smooch (earning a MOON MAN for BEST COLLABORATION) before MILEY CYRUS hit the stage with her brand-new song, “Slide Away,” which many are speculating is about her recent break-up with her ex, actor LIAM HEMSWORTH.

ROSALIA and OZUNA scorched with their rendition of “Yo x Ti, Tu x Mi.” Former FIFTH HARMONY member NORMANI made her solo VMA debut, breaking the Internet while showing off her gymnastic skills on the new single/video, “Motivation,” followed by multi-GRAMMY nominee H.E.R., J BALVIN and BAD BUNNY, then BIG SEAN and A$AP FERG trading verses for the grand, choreographed finale.


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